I asked Diane Dorney, who owns a new live-work unit in the truest sense of the word (within a live-work community to boot), “Sure, live-works units are great, many would love nothing more than to be able to live above where they work, but who can afford one?”
“The thing about making live/works work for people without a lot of money is that they are flexible – much more flexible than any other option out there.Â While they are income-eating as far as the mortgage and utilities go, they are also income-producing.Â What other form of conventional studio or housing is?Â You can rent one part and use the other, thus subsidizing one portion of your life.Â If you need the shop but have a place to live (with your parents!), then rent the upstairs to subsidize the shop.Â Or, you can pull othersÂ in toÂ rent space from you in the shop to help pay the rent upstairs.Â Or rent the shop for a while while you work and live upstairs.Â No matter what, you aren’t paying someone else for the privilege.Â And you can probably do without a car, in some instances.Â Every amenity you need being right outside the door.” Diane Dorney, Founder of The Town Paper
Note: Diane’s three-story live-work unit is in the middle of the inset photo. Also, check out her town paper – it focuses on these new, walkable communities from the residents’ point of view.
ps It took quite an effort to get Diane in the picture – you can see she’s about to close the door. Live-work unit owners are so modest!